The ministry's two-member committee, comprising of Rural Development secretary B K Sinha and deputy secretary Rohit Kumar, has come down heavily on the role of the state administration in both the cases.
The two cases include the killing of Niyamat Ansari, a key aide of noted civil rights activist and a former member of Central Employment Guarantee Council Jean Dreze.
Dreze had complained to the ministry that Ansari was murdered in a village in Latehar after he exposed a case of brazen embezzlement of MGNREGA funds in Rankikala grampanchayat.
Later, a case was registered against the former BDO of the Manika block, Kailash Sahu in this connection. The incident had taken place in the first week of March this year.
Ansari was an active member of the MGNREGA Sahayata Abhiyan, an organisation that inspects the work sites and records of MGNREGA works and brings irregularities to the knowledge of authorities and the media.
The committee of the rural development ministry that visited Latehar to probe the matter arrived at "many missing links" in the version of district administration's inquiry into the incident.
"The matter should be investigated by the CBI, and particularly the role of the district administration and district police should be thoroughly probed," it said. It also demanded that the state administration should complete investigations in all previous murder cases of social activists in the last three years and submit chargesheet for the same.
The committee also recommended that persons who threaten, coerce and harm any person or property of activist engaged in MGNREGA audit or inspection of its work should be punished with rigorous imprisonment not less than five years. It also made a similar recommendation in case of the
murder of Subal Mahato, who was allegedly beaten to death by his employer for demanding revised wages in accordance with MGNREGA in February this year in Bokaro district.
"The murder case of deceased Subal Mahato should be investigated by the CBI, which should also probe into the attempt to suppress the case and the falsification of records and dubious injury and postmortem reports. The CBI should also probe the role of the different parties in this process," the committee said.